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PP-10 Newsroom: PP-10 Fact Sheet

What it is...

The International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-10) is the top policy making body of the ITU. Held every four years, it sets the policy, financial planning and strategic goals of the Union. PP-10 will be convened in Guadalajara, Mexico, from 4 to 22 October 2010.

The Plenipotentiary represents the key opportunity for Member States of the ITU to decide on, and influence, its future strategic direction, with implications for future information and communications technology (ICT) policies throughout the world.

In addition to this, PP-10 also elects the senior management team of the ITU1, the members of the ITU Council2, and the members of the Radio Regulations Board3. The outcome of these elections is determined through voting.

The Conference is open to all Member States of the ITU, as well as observer organizations and entities. Only accredited delegations of Member States have the right to vote and sign the Final Acts of the Conference.  PP-10 is expected to gather some 2000 delegates together, representing 160 countries and 40 organizations.

1 These are the Secretary General, the Deputy Secretary General, the Directors of the Bureaux for the Sectors: Radiocommunication (BR); Telecommunication Standardization (TSB); and Telecommunication Development (BDT).

2 There are currently 46 members of the Council.

3 There are 12 Members of the Radio Regulations Board, performing duties on an independent and part-time basis.
Recent PP Conferences

What it debates and decides…

A Steering Committee coordinates the work of the PP-10 agenda which is decided by the Conference and reflected in Article 8 of the Constitution.

In addition to steering the strategic direction and priorities of the Union, including upcoming conferences and the way forward for ITU Telecom, PP-10 will provide delegates with the opportunity to discuss key topics related to the future of the Information society. Topics such as:

  • Cybersecurity: The global proliferation of ICT has brought many welcome developments. However, it has – inadvertently – allowed a worldwide upsurge in online abuse ranging from spam to cybercrime, identity theft, the exposure of vulnerable groups such as children to online harm, and even the possibility of cyber-terrorism and cyber-warfare.
    Under its responsibilities to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), ITU has responsibility for three Action Lines, and particularly for Action Line C5 – building confidence and security in ICTs. ITU was tasked by the last Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-06) to take all necessary and concrete steps to curb security problems in cyberspace to satisfy these Action Lines. It subsequently developed the Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA), an international framework for co-operation. It then extended this by partnering with IMPACT, the International Partnership Against Cyber Threats, to create an initiative supplying technical and information resources and toolkits for more than 60 countries. ITU has also developed the Child Online Protection (COP) initiative as part of the GCA. PP-10 will examine the desirability of further international consensus to fight cybercrime.

  • Internet addressing: As the explosion in online connectivity continues, the internet community is rapidly running out of address space. IPv6 is an initiative designed to replace the current, but now, limited, IPv4 addressing system. However, the rate of IPv6 adoption is causing concern among many in the worldwide ICT community, who fear that if it is not implemented in a timely and effective fashion, some users may potentially lose internet connectivity, or experience network disruption. PP-10 will examine how this transition should be managed and accelerated for the benefit of all, and the role of ITU in the transition.

  • International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR): The ITRs represent the key framework of international telecommunications regulation. Among other issues, they represent provisions for how interconnecting service providers in different countries should relate to each other in terms of traffic, accounting and billing, and other key policies. Since the last revision of the ITRs in Melbourne, Australia in 1988, market deregulation has allowed many new service providers, while mobile communications and internet connectivity has exploded globally. PP-10 will continue the debate on the possible revision of the ITRs to take account of these developments in preparation for the ITU’s upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications in 2012.

  • Digital Divide: In the first decade of the new millennium, ICT growth – especially in the developing world – has been phenomenal. In just ten years the number of mobile cellular subscriptions has grown from 500 million to over five billion. And by the end of 2010, the number of Internet users will be nearing two billion.  Because technology is vital to socio-economic development, ITU continues to focus on strategies to further shrink the digital divide. The next challenge is broadband. As high-speed networks become the rule in advanced markets, those without broadband will quickly find themselves just as marginalized as those who lacked basic phone service 20 years ago. PP-10 will look at ways of bringing equitable and affordable broadband access to all, so that everyone is empowered to create information, use information, and share information freely, for the betterment of humanity.


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Updated : 2010-09-13